Rude Elf’s Reserve

  • Belgian Strong Dark Ale
  • 10.5%
  • 1.100
  • 25
  • Late Fall/Holidays!; Draft, 12/25oz, 24/12oz/4pk
  • Allentown and Bethlehem Brew Works, Distributors
  • German Tettnang
  • 2-row pale & caramel

Great American Beer Festival

  • Bronze Medal Winner - 2009

World Beer Championships

  • Silver Medal Winner - 2002

A Belgian style Holiday Ale with attitude!

After being harassed by elves in the toy workshop and the reindeer in the stables, Rudy found his true calling in Santa’s brew house. Keeping his edge and focusing his talents, this elf created a spicy holiday brew that became a Christmas legend of its own.


 

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Brewed with 2-row pale & caramel malts, dark Belgian Candi Sugar, & three Belgian yeast strains.

Hops and Spices

Brewed with hints of Holiday spice – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & clove, hopped with German Tettnang hops.

This ruby colored ale is sure to warm you up on a chilly night.

This aromatic Holiday Ale is ready to open this year, but a few ‘wise men’ may cellar it to discover it’s ‘true meaning.’


Availability

Seasonal starting mid-October

  • 12oz bottles
  • bottle-conditioned 25.4oz (750ml) corked & caged bottles

Remember…

Rude Elf’s Reserve makes the perfect stocking stuffer for everyone on your naughty list!


Reviews


Media and Sales


History of the Rude Elf’s Reserve

1999

This fabulous holiday ale was first developed and brewed in 1999 at the Bethlehem Brew Works under original head brewer (and co-owner) Jeff Fegley. The Fegley family thought it was appropriate to create a spiced beer to help us celebrate in the City of Bethlehem, which is considered “Christmas City, USA.” It was dubbed “Rudolph’s Reserve” because the recipe required a copious amount of malt that would result in a smaller, limited batch of beer. We proudly offered it on draft exclusively in our 250 seat brewpub in the historic downtown.

Ruldolf’s Reserve returned each year in limited batches as Jeff continued to develop the holiday recipe, and the release of the ale became a longed-for tradition by our regulars & the tourists that flock to our popular Christmas shopping district.

2002

In 2002, when the Reserve won the Silver medal in the World Beer Championships, the family decided to bottle a limited edition of the ale to celebrate the success of the brewpub. They turned to friend Dan Weirback, owner of Weyerbacher Brewing Co., the Easton craft brewery, and contract brewed an initial run of 250 cases of 12oz bottles.

For the original art for the beer label, we turned to another friend, R.C. Matteson of Dragon Studios, who says of his design, for the It was a great success and a quick sellout. Many a stocking was stuffed that year with bottle of the Reserve!

2003

In 2003, we began the lengthy process of trade marking the name of our award-winning beer.

Meanwhile, Jeff tweaked the recipe to produce a slightly drier (better) finish, and we contract brewed another batch of 500 cases to establish a seasonal tradition. The limited edition bottles began to sell out at a record pace, when suddenly well into the holiday season that year, the Brew Works received a ‘Cease & Desist’ letter from Classic Media, who claimed ownership of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. (Note: The concern does have a trademark on our favorite four hoofed hero – and Lassie & Frosty the Snowman as well!)

After discussing it politely, we agreed to withdraw our application for registering the name and agreed to discontinue use of the moniker going forward. But despite losing the name, there was reason to celebrate again – the incident received national attention as the story was picked up by the Associated Press.

We lifted our glasses in a toast as a now curious public drove sales and we watched the Reserve cases …dash away, dash away, dash away all.”

Read the article – Rudolph’s ale brews up trademark dilemma, Tuesday, December 23, 2003, The Morning Call

2004

In 2004, we conducted a ‘renaming contest’, which resulted in a winner of a new name – “Rude Elf’s Reserve,” and again hired Dragon Studios to design a new ‘Rudolf-free’ label. With further perfection, the Reserve was now a “Belgian style holiday spiced ale with attitude,” coming in at over 10% ABV, and the number of distributors that wanted to carry the ale continued to grow.

2005

The Brew Works attempted to get the ale to the thirsty drinkers of NYC with American Beer Distributors, Inc., in August, 2005… but WHOA! Hold your horse-like antlered sleighpullers! The State of New York would not approve distribution of the Reserve because it’s label was ‘too appealing to children’ (imagine what they would have thought of the version with Santa and you-know-who)! Once again, our story was picked up by the AP for national news. Soon, emails from around the country (even from Hawaii) were coming in asking how to taste the Rude Elf’s Reserve!

2006

In 2006, under new Brewmaster Beau Baden, the brewery began milling whole grains (which further improved the quality of all the beers of the Brew Works) and the number of cases for Rude Elf’s Reserve continued to grow.

2007

With the opening of the Allentown Brew Works in 2007, the company began to experiment with bottling in house.

2008

For the 2008 season, Fegley’s Brew Works began packaging a 25.4oz(750ml) corked & caged bottle-conditioned version of the Rude Elf’s Reserve in addition to it’s limited draft offering at the restaurant locations.

2009

The following year, 2009, at the largest beer competition of earth, Rude Elf’s Reserve garnered another prestigious award when it brought the Bronze Medal back to the Lehigh Valley from the Great American Beer Festival. 750 cases of Rude Elf’s Reserve were distributed throughout eastern Pennsylvania that season, but the increased demand resulted in an early sell out…

2010

That brings us to 2010!

With the introduction of our new 12oz bottling line, and building on the success that our seasonal beers have gained us (opening hundreds of thirsty accounts in PA and New Jersey) the Rude Elf’s Reserve has 1,400 cases earmarked already for this year.

The elves in our workshop are very busy, but just like Santa this ale comes once a year, and once its gone… HO! HO! HO!

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Home / Brewery / Seasonal Beers / Rude Elf's Reserve - Fegley's Brew Works
  • Floyd McGaha

    I really enjoy this big beer…actually having one now! Cant wait to visit the brewery!

  • Tbicks86

    What came first, Rude Elf’s Reserve or Mad Elf? I like Rude Elf but I think Mad Elf is slightly better. Good use of the QR code!

  • Ghb4069

    How long should I self it

  • Sean Ward

    Is this beer brewed with cherries? 
    I want to try it but am allergic to cherries…which keeps me far away from Mad Elf…

  • Jkaszuba

    Delicious! I am almost out and cant get anymore. Fegleys nssds to sell it year round. Have tried all the Elf Brews and hands down this one is the best! Love It! Love It Did I mention how good it is. Damn, make more!

  • 125ace

    Is this the same as Mad Elf?  

  • Rudy V.

    I now know how it got its name. the more of it I drink, the ruder I become.

  • Steve

    No It Is Not Brewed With Cherries

  • KriekCrazed

    What a shame Sean.
    For me, anything with cherry drives me wild.
    It was a well crafted and aged small batch of a double kriek that a friend made and turned me on to once upon my first real craft beer. Since then, it’s been a crazy ride of various Belgian krieks, sours and this most recent fascination…..Rude Elf!
    Wow guys, nice craft! For 10.5 size shoe up the back side of your head, you’d never know in the nose or the taste, even chilly! YUMMY is all I have to say. A 750 or 3 are destined for my cellar!

    Go for it Sean!

  • http://www.thebrewworks.com/ Fegley’s Brew Works

    Thanks for the kudos KriekCrazed!

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Fegley's Allentown Brew Works
Restaurant, Brewery & Banquets
812 W. Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101
610-433-7777

Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Restaurant & Brewery
569 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
610-882-1300